Illness Triggers Vulnerability – Embrace it

I would like to talk briefly about how fragile we are and how vulnerable that makes us. We don’t have long on planet earth, a few decades if we are lucky, and then we are gone again into the eternal unknown. The majority of people kind of like it here, despite all the terrible things that happen, and all the suffering, the personal and global difficulties and the struggle just to live. We get used to it, we build relationships, we have family, loved ones, and attachments. That’s the nature of life.

And we expect that to last for at least 70 years, and maybe more. That’s not too much to ask, we think.

And then illness may come along and throw that idea under the bus. We might be 30, or 50, or (god forbid) even younger. In truth, in many ways, it doesn’t matter what age we are (except for the very young, and that’s an utter tragedy I can’t address here), it’s always going to be too soon, and it’s always going to mean the arrival of very deep emotions. That is to be fully expected. 

It’s going to herald the arrival of fear, and enormous vulnerability. Some of the depth of feeling will of course depend on the severity of the illness, but in my experience many of these mystery chronic illness’s trigger these fears BECAUSE they are completely unknown.

Illness knocks us sideways, and it catches many completely off guard. There is a totally new reality that arrives, a new context for everything. The truth arrives suddenly, we can call it impermanence. The facts of impermanence affect each one of us, no exceptions, but for those who are hit with illness, or even live in the unknown, this impermanence becomes a new reality. It changes everything. 

For the spouses, partners, relations, children etc, it is very hard. I know this only too well in my relationship. This marriage with Amoda my wife is our entire world. Neither of us have much family, we have no children, and we came to America and gave up whatever little we had in the UK. This is it, and we are in the boat together. To be ill triggers such a vulnerability, even guilt and sorrow. And it hits her very hard, destabilizing plans and possibilities.

But life is like this. Life is sudden and dramatic. It is disappointing and distressing. And it is impermanent. Life doesn’t play by our rules. It is unconcerned with what we want to happen and when. And the stark truth of illness bursts our illusions, sometimes dramatically and usually distressingly. 

The key to making it easier, if there is one, is to know this and to embrace it. In all my years of being ill, and walking the path of transformation, embracing the vulnerability, the let down, the heartache, the fear, anger and pain, the only way I have found is through love’s acceptance. I know that might sound new agey and trite, but when you are sick and suffering, such things begin to mean something real. Sarcasm and cynicism are the stronghold of the defensive ego that lives and dies in the matrix. They don’t make for good companions when the chips are down and we need to get real and intimate. 

Consciously embracing the vulnerability might not change anything, it might not get rid of the fear, or anger, or heal the body, or cure you, but it will open the door to a deeper acceptance of reality. That is the best we can do, and it’s the best gift we can give others. Everyone has to face the same thing. I have not met anyone who hasn’t had dreams shattered or had to face deep disappointment and heartache. It’s in everyone. And everyone will have to meet death.

But the difference between those who turn and face themselves openly and those who turn away in fear or blame, those who become bitter and twisted, is the difference between heaven and hell.

I am one who is bold and brave enough to turn and face the truth, even though it hurts like hell. I am not writing this because I have received some dreadful news, don’t worry. I do have some strange symptoms going on in my gut that I would like resolved and it’s creating a lot of discomfort and uncertainty, and we are in the US which means access to some health care stuff is more difficult (like getting a colonoscopy), but its more that it’s triggered my own sensitivity and vulnerability, and I thought I would share my insights with you.

I hope you are well, and if not I hope this brought you some solace and comfort. Maybe that’s the best we can do for each other.

Much love

Kavi

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Sympathy for Suffering

The last few days, in fact in recent weeks, and particularly since we visited Santa Fe which is at 7000 feet, I have been revisiting some old symptoms associated with my ulcerative colitis. It is quite an unpleasant shock I can tell you. There is no blood, which is always pretty scary, but I have had mucus and irregular bowel movement and that feeling in the belly of discomfort and distress. (Sorry for the graphic detail!)

I am not trying to get any sympathy here, this short blog is about something else.

It is about the difference between feeing well and feeling ill.

I spent almost ten long years carrying illness and slow recovery. At times both Amoda (my wife) and I thought I was either going to die, slowly, or else carry sickness around for the rest of my life. It was bad, at times it was utterly demoralizing and I have spent time in despair and depression. I have been to the edge with my body and come back to tell the tale.

And my healing journey worked. It took such a long time, and so much patience and persistence. By the time I did my long water fast I still carried some remnants of scarring and discomfort in my colon, but after the water fast that disappeared. Since then I have had various issues, including a mysterious full body rash that lasted two years, and a borderline hashimotos diagnosis (thyroid malfunction and auto immune problem), but on the whole I have been getting stronger and healthier, to the point where people remark on my vitality and glow.

And every so often something happens and I get dragged back into stuff, and I remember.

I remember how tough it is to be ill. I think it’s real tough when the cause is mysterious and vague, labelled ‘auto immune’ without saying or knowing where it has come from or what to really do with it. Without knowing how to heal and how long it might take, it’s pretty daunting. That’s not to say acute illness is any better. In fact it’s all suffering.

It is tough. And that’s my point here. It is simple. It is very hard to function fully and brightly when there is illness. I am sorry. If it’s you who has something, I am sorry and I wish you great healing, or compassion and empathy, depending on where you are at.

Not everyone heals their body.

But everyone can heal their heart.

I came to the conclusion many years ago, when I was facing ‘the ‘illness for life’ thoughts, that it was more important for me to heal my wounded and broken heart than to be obsessed with healing my body. So I endeavored to do exactly that, and I remember one night I had what now seems like a deeply spiritual experience. Let me tell you.

I went out to the local woods and I lay down, fed up with pain and hardship, and desperate for some relief. I gave myself to the ground and it felt like a fell into a hole (kind of like a grave) and I realized I had reached the end of my tether. I came face to face with my mortality, and thus with God.

I remember saying (Inwardly), ‘God, you can take this body if you wan it, I no longer care and I am sick of holding on to desperation, but please help me heal this wounded heart. Give me some peace and love, and do what you want.’

I was so willing to let go of this body something changed. I actually became aware that life is vast and mysterious, much bigger than the smallness of ‘me and my body’ and how everything that we do, think, feel and experience is held in a love more exquisite and beautiful than anything we can ever imagine. If we could taste that love, what we might call God’s Love, for a moment, we may well not be able to do anything ever again, it may render everything else meaningless.

I have never forgotten this and whenever I slip back into anxiety or fear about illness, or death, or suffering, I remember it. It brings relief and great compassion, both for myself and for others who suffer. I know, through personal experience, that suffering is temporary and is not the truth of who we are.

But it is a challenge. And I feel for those who are ill, those who are at the end, those who are scared and those children who get ill so early in life. I have no explanations but I have an open heart that longs to hold suffering close and help carry it a little when it is too heavy.

Thank you for reading, may you be blessed.

Running Is My Meditation – Don’t Sit Around, Move Something!

Yesterday I did a 10 mile run. Two days before that a 6.2 mile run.

This morning I ran over the Golden Gate Bridge in the early morning sunrise.
It was utterly gorgeous and I felt such a sense of freedom.
I run approximately 25 miles per week. That’s 100 miles a month at least.
I have run 446 miles this year so far. All my runs have been in the morning.
My best running time is 11am when it’s warm, preferably sunny.
I’m 59 years old.
I am fitter than I have ever been as an adult.
I’m pretty fast for an older guy. I average 9 minutes per mile and my average length of run is 5.1 miles.
My app tells me I’m usually in the top 8% for distance run.

I am motivated for running.
For me it’s physical and spiritual. It’s even a kind of meditation.
It gets me into a zone. It helps me sweat. It enlivens me. It brings a great spaciousness to my mind.
I connect with some deep inspiration when I run.
I feel it enliven my cellular body.
It doesn’t feel like a stretch in a bad way, ever.

But it really hasn’t always been like this. In fact it was the opposite for years and years.
I was the most unfit guy ever during my 20s and 30s, and even my 40s.
It has taken years of persistence and success, and failure, to get to this point.
And still I have to persist. But I found the groove and know the rewards.

And don’t forget:
I have been through chronic illness, on a long journey that lasted about 10 years. Some of that time I ran, but I struggled with exercise. I stayed with it. When the body and nervous system is under par and stressed it’s very hard to get the full benefit of exercise. So you do what you can. I did rebounding to keep the energy flowing. I did yoga for flexibility. I did core strength exercises to build muscle. All of this you can do, adapted to your own state of health.

The bottom line is, you can’t recover or heal or find true vitality without doing something for the body.
If nothing else, walking is great! 5 – 10 miles a day will get things going. Just don’t sit around. It will kill you.
Sleep is so very important, good quality sleep. We go to bed very early and get up very early.
Hydration is very important.
Nutrition is vital.

But of all things I have seen and felt over the years, enthusiasm and motivation are the two most powerful. With those on your side anything is possible.

Anything.

Thanks for reading, see you out there!

Kavi

ps. Any runners out there, connect with me!
SmashRun – https://smashrun.com/kavi.hockaday

 

Motivation and the Healing Path

I have just been scrolling through my site here and considering my book ‘The Power of Illness to Change Your Life,’ and what it is actually about.

I have realized that it’s really a motivational book, and I am a motivational speaker and writer and coach. Not a conventional one by any means, but I am motivational by nature. It is who I am, and who I have always been. I bring hope, I bring some light and some love, not on the surface but to the heart and soul.

In that sense, and I explore this somewhat in the book, whether physical healing happens or not is not the point.

Healing is what actually happens in the heart and soul of each one of us. The physical body, and our lives, are set to perish anyway, sooner or later. It’s a sad truth but there it is. And of course we want to hold on to health, and remove disease, for as long as possible while we are here.

But finding acceptance, peace, love and a deep spiritual connection, is more important. Those are qualities that transcend the physical body, the ego self and all its fears and anxieties and open the door to something entirely new.

That’s the motivation I have. It’s the willingness to face all this, and open my heart and mind in the midst of it. I had to, when I was ill and suffering, I had to make peace with myself, with my past demons, with my family and with God.

You see, I have learned over a long period of time that this life I was graced with, is a voyage of discovery, an ongoing conversation and relationship between me and God. God is the entirety of existence, everything that I see, feel, experience, touch and know. The whole world I encounter is God. I believed myself to be separate from all of life, and life was somehow happening to me.

And over the course of a long healing journey that belief perished like an old ghost and I found myself to be in the world, the world in me, and all was one thing. I became existence and existence expresses itself through me.

Until that time I had a beef with God.

And I saw that each man and woman carries the same wound. We are all the same, but with our own stories. Me and you, we are the same, all struggling with existence itself, how to live, what to do about death, how to relate, the whole thing.

Now there is such a peace and love and acceptance. So there is a great motivation in me to support others as they walk the path of healing, however it appears for them. I don’t preach, I don’t tell and I don’t persuade. I motivate through a kind of holistic logic.

Each man and woman carries the same existential wound. We are all the same, but with our own stories.

Why I’m saying all this is not to sell you my book. It is because the path of life, like the path of healing, is pretty tough, challenging and mysterious. We are called to dive into the unknown. When the body is sick and we are called to the unknown it’s nigh on terrifying, because we desperately want to know what to do to heal the body. The body is a ruthless teacher. There is no simple answer.

There is the journey, the relationship, the inquiry, the awareness, the self love, the diligence, the persistence, the knowledge, the softness and the warrior-like ness that may transform us.

In the dark we are scared. That fear blocks our natural intelligence, our intuition. It creates cellular dehydration and shuts us off from the light, both inner and outer, and that is where some of our intelligence comes from.

My aim is to help people past fear, not avoiding it, but not giving it more power than it warrants. Fear is a powerful voice, but fear must be met with discernment. When discernment listens to fear it knows whether it’s worthy of taking action or not. That comes through experience.

I think my book was a rough attempt at this motivation. Some people have read it a few times and used it in the way it was intended. We need each other to say ‘Yes I did it, you can too.’ And then it gives us just enough encouragement to put the next foot forward. 

Does the body always heal?

No. 

Do it anyway, for the sake of your heart and soul. It is more important to find the depth of loving acceptance while you are here. The healing journey is an invitation to this depth of love.

That is what happened to me. Illness definitely changed my life. For the better. It allowed me to meet myself and transform fear into love.

I hope this speaks to you if you are on the path.

Distortion in your Energy Field

Any distortion in your energy field may result in some illness or other. 

What does this mean?

It means that the river of energy that comprises your life, and all life, is flowing naturally and effortlessly from source into manifestation and back again.

Some elements on this level of reality are anti-life, toxic to nature, and disruptive to that natural flow. When they interfere with the river of (divine) energy they create a distortion in the flow. This can cause any number of problems.
The one we are concerned with here is ill health. Not just physical illness, but all perceived illness, including mental and emotional illness.

So what distorts the flow?

Here is where it gets interesting.

On the physical level things like some viruses and heavy metals, chemicals, wifi frequencies, and of course GMO produced foods. In fact anything that is made by man has been largely created artificially. It may feed us but it’s a (sometimes subtle) energy flow disruptor.

Let’s talk about the mental and emotional level.
Thought has incredible power. More than we imagine. Consider the fact that EVERYTHING that humanity has built, created, destroyed, and manufactured, started as a thought, and was then thought into life. If you don’t imagine that same thought turned inwards against yourself can have the same power, negatively, then you need to reconsider.

Thought can create, and thought can destroy.
It can also severely disrupt the energy flow within your finely tuned system.

Negative thought, toxic thought, grievous thought have an impact, and they distort nature.

Truth, like love, has a natural flow to it. Goodness, positivity, compassion, self love, joy, all these qualities, if they are true, are benign and even beneficial.

But toxic emotions create toxic thoughts. Old, unhealed wounds still exist in the energy field of your body mind system, and they distort the natural flow of energy.

That’s what I mean when I say distortion in your energy field may result in ill health.

We are way more mysterious than we currently understand. There are infinitely more things that affect us than we know, ranging from the gross to the ever subtle.

So many forces shape our lives, our wellbeing and ill health, and we are scraping the surface to understand. We like to think that our science is a long way to understanding the complexities of the human being, and that modern medicine is on the path to solving our health issues, but is that really true?

Chronic illness is out of control. Cancer is out of control. Depression is out of control. There are more people alienated by life now than ever. Something is patently not right. Most medicine doesn’t heal, it hides. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of science and medicine. When it’s used with discretion and wisdom. Sadly most medicine, and most doctors, are lost in the superficial paradigm that has no wisdom or depth in it. 

The greatest thing to know about pharmaceutical medicine is the discretion when to use it, and when NOT to. It is not a magic bullet.

They would laugh at what I write and what I say. But I stand by the truth of my experience. They said I would be on the meds for ever. I never took them once. They said surgery. I have no symptoms at all. What?

I resolved all my inner distortion, old conflicts, toxic thoughts, removed heavy metals, and enabled the natural flow of inner divine energy to flow again in my life and gradually healing happened. I chose not to take pharmaceutical medicine as I believe they are toxic, and you have to pay for the short term gain of symptom suppression. It is not good for the liver that is already burdened by the illness. But I am radical and have alternative beliefs.

It took years, and a life changing spiritual, emotional and mental deep dive into the very nature of my existence. I surrendered everything, battled hard, trusted deeply, hit rock bottom, got up and kept on going, and put one foot in the front of the other. Oh, and I never actually believed I had a disease. 

Go figure.

Heal the distortion.

With great love and (hopefully) inspiration – Kavi

Don’t Let Your Diagnosis Define You – Untether Your Mind

I have listened to many people talk about their health condition, diagnosis, or injury. I have met a lot of people who have healed, many who have defied their diagnosis to do so. And I have met many who have believed their diagnosis and somehow resigned themselves to it, and it has become their reality.

And what I have learned is this:

The mind is VERY POWERFUL, more powerful than we generally believe. It has a power beyond the accepted paradigm, and can be a phenomenal assistant in healing the physical body.

And belief itself, when fully activated, can unleash the mind’s potential to change reality.

Now, at this early stage of the discussion I want to say one thing: There are no guarantees in this life. You may have a disease and do everything in your power, follow all the best diets, harness your mind, live in total peace and love, and still you may not recover. Or the opposite.

There are no guarantees, because life, death, and everything in between, is shrouded in mystery, and we don’t really understand it at all.

But to blindly accept what comes towards you as ‘the truth,’ or fact, when it comes to your illness, or your life, can imprison you and deny you great opportunities.

Here is a case in point from my life. Some of you may have heard me speak of this incident before. It was when I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease in 2005 through tests, and I had an appointment with a chief consultant in the University College Hospital in London to go through it. I had no idea what to expect. 

The consultant was absolutely 100% certain and utterly convincing in his approach to me. He told me I had this ‘major disease’ and I was going to have it for life, I would be on medication for life starting on steroids to ‘get it under control,’ and if nothing else worked I would have to have my bowel (or some of it) removed. He delivered this message as though it was standard procedure and nothing out of the ordinary.

I was bewildered and shocked.

And then I woke up and decided to ask questions about what alternatives I had. “None,” came the reply.

I argued for Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. He laughed both off as useless and even dangerous. He said it had nothing to do with diet. They had no idea what caused it. He was amused by my questions and desire for alternatives, and it was easy to see he was totally convinced he was in the right. He would be, he was a consultant with years of practice who had seen this condition time and time again.

But I had one trick up my sleeve. He had never seen ME before. He had never met anyone quite like me. Even he admitted that. I was alert, aware, inquisitive, and I simply wouldn’t accept ‘as truth’ what he said.

I decided that the only thing I could do was sign myself out of their care and ‘go it alone.’ He thought I was utterly mad and wrong, even irresponsible, but he couldn’t stop me. I remember his withering look that said,

“You will be back.”

I NEVER RETURNED.

I NEVER TOOK ANY MEDICATION.

I NEVER HAD ANY SURGERY.

AFTER A LONG JOURNEY HEALING I NO LONGER HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS AT ALL, FOR YEARS.

Let’s face it, its gone. Healed.

If you do your research, you will find that my story is common. I am not unique. So what is this all about?

I just didn’t believe what he said. But I didn’t just dismiss him and do nothing. I listened to him, I took it all very seriously, and then I chose to take other action. I will not have someone define my reality, not when it comes to something as mysterious as my health. Science is a reliable tool for measuring and testing but it doesn’t define reality. There are too many anomalies when it comes to the body: Miracle healing. Placebo effect. Nocebo effect. Spontaneous healing.
All these things actually happen, and as long as they happen, it means they CAN happen. And as long as they CAN happen we must allow for the possibility.

BUT I return to what I said earlier:

The mind is VERY POWERFUL, more powerful than we generally believe. It has a power beyond the accepted paradigm, and can be a phenomenal assistant in healing the physical body.

And belief itself, when fully activated, can unleash the mind’s potential to change reality.

If you are going to follow your own path, if you really want to harness the power of the mind, you have to work hard, you have to get into your mind’s weaknesses and doubts, the self sabotaging, the erroneous beliefs.

You can’t just dismiss the beliefs of the current arraign with looking for something deeper, wiser or more intelligent to replace them with.

That is where the true journey takes place. That is the spiritual journey. But first you must untether.

I hope this speaks to you. I would love to hear from you about your experience. Comment below and tell me whats going on!

Love Kavi

 

More FREE than the BODY

More FREE than the BODY.

This is an issue that many people who are chronically sick and suffering pain bring to Amoda’s spiritual Satsang meetings seeking an answer that really delivers.
It is a tough question when there is constant pain and endless illness.
‘What do I do?’
‘How do I cope?”
‘I know I am not the body but it hurts so much I never have any peace.’
‘I am scared, angry, anxious.’
‘How do I deal with pain?’

These are some of the questions.

Here is my only insightful response to those questions, and it is my own challenge and endeavor. And it is tough.

TO BE MORE FREE AS CONSCIOUSNESS THAN THE BODY.

If that sounds weird, or impossible, I understand. But its what we are going to be propelled towards at the time of death anyway. At the time of death we are not given an option. We are pushed, dragged, or thrown towards freedom from the body. We can hang on all we like but at some point we must let go of it.
At that point we will realize WE ARE NOT THE BODY.
WE ARE CONSCIOUSNESS.
YOU are consciousness that has a body to live in this relative world. You cannot live here without it.
But it is not who you are.

SO. If it were possible to realize that fundamental truth, that you are not the body, while you are in the body, not theoretically but viscerally, you would be MORE FREE THAN THE BODY.

And as that freedom you would care much less about it.
You would not grasp as it as you might do.
You would not feel as anxious or scared about it.
You would, in fact, allow it to do its thing much more.

In fact your capacity to love yourself would increase dramatically.

It might have an impact on your nervous system and immune system.

But you would have that most sacred quality.

FREEDOM.

What I have just said is tough. It is about enlightenment, true awakening, surrender, humility, grace, and the deepest love.

I hope you understand. This is where I am at.